Recent weather notwithstanding, it is in fact now spring. But along with all the blossoms and green growing things come some other, less welcome, signs of the season.
Last month saw the third case of rabies reported in Otsego and Delaware counties this year.
In Otsego County, a calf in the town of Pittsfield tested positive, and two raccoons tested positive for the disease in Delaware County.
The viral disease, which is spread by saliva, is a scary one.
“In both people and animals, once symptoms occur, rabies is almost always fatal,” according to the Otsego County Department of Health. However, treatment can be administered between exposure and symptoms. Anyone who observes, or comes into contact with, an animal that is behaving strangely or may be rabid should contact the department of health immediately. The treatment for rabies does involve several injections, but is no longer as gruesome as it once was
Vaccines can protect animals such as cats and dogs that are at risk of coming into contact with wild (potentially rabid) animals.
It’s not just a good idea to vaccinate your pets; it’s also the law. So we encourage everyone to take these early cases of rabies this spring as a reminder. Check with your vet to see if your pets are up-to-date on their rabies shots.
Pets who need to receive the vaccine can obtain it free of charge at clinics held throughout the summer. Contact your local health department or read The Daily Star for more information.
And as we venture out into the great outdoors this spring and summer, we must also be vigilant against another dangerous malady: Lyme disease.
With May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the time is right to reflect on how to protect pets and families from this serious and unpleasant disease.